Numerous skilled individuals holding H-1B visas in the United States are turning to employment opportunities in Canada, driven by layoffs in the tech sector and stringent immigration regulations. The policies implemented during the tenure of former President Trump have heightened entry barriers for these workers in the U.S., adversely affecting American tech companies but proving advantageous for Canada. Fierce competition prevails, with major corporations like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft sponsoring a substantial number of H-1B applications. From a pool of over 758,000 eligible applications, a mere 188,400 were chosen. Foreign nationals, facing potential deportation unless they secure a new sponsor within a 60-day window, are exploring Canada’s Start-Up Visa (SUV) program. This Canadian initiative provides a route to permanent residency for entrepreneurs who can secure a significant investment from designated Canadian venture capital funds, angel investor groups, or business incubators. For many tech workers grappling with uncertainty in the U.S., this program has emerged as an appealing alternative.Listen to this article.
Work Permit for H-1B Visa Holders
Last month, over 6,000 U.S. H-1B visa holders sought refuge in Canada due to uncertainties arising from massive layoffs affecting highly skilled foreign workers. The H-1B program, targeting specialized individuals in fields like tech and healthcare, has grown fiercely competitive, with nearly 759,000 applications for 2024, but only 188,400 receiving visas through a lottery. Layoffs in major tech firms like Microsoft and Amazon earlier in the year left H-1B holders with a tight 60-day window to secure new sponsorship, transfer visa status, or risk deportation.
Seizing on the situation, Canada initiated a groundbreaking pilot program on July 16, offering up to 10,000 U.S. H-1B visa holders a three-year open work permit. The program, part of Canada’s Tech Talent Strategy, garnered overwhelming interest, reaching its application capacity within a day. By October, more than 6,000 work permits had been issued to H-1B holders arriving at the Canadian border. A CBRE study indicates Canada’s tech market has grown 15.7% since 2020, outpacing the U.S., with 1.1 million tech workers and cities like Toronto and Vancouver ranking among the top 10 in North America.
Skilled individuals, affected by layoffs, see Canada as a promising alternative, citing the country’s attractiveness for immigrants. Although the Canadian Immigration Minister was unavailable for an interview, a spokesperson highlighted the strong global competition Canada faces in attracting international talent, emphasizing its position as a premier destination.
How mana immigration Can Help
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